NYPD to launch bike lane safety initiative for third time since May

The Bicycle Safe Passage initiative has led to many tickets for drivers in bike lanes.
The Bicycle Safe Passage initiative has led to many tickets for drivers in bike lanes. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Police across the city will take part in another enforcement blitz against drivers that put cyclists in harm’s way.

For the third time since May, all 77 precincts will crack down on motorists caught for infractions including blocking bike lanes, double parking, failing to yield to pedestrians and cyclists and occupying no standing zones.

The weeklong targeted enforcement will take place between Monday, July 25, and Friday, July 29, as part of a Vision Zero initiative to protect the city’s bicycle network.

“We believe in protecting every New Yorker on our city’s streets — and strong NYPD enforcement plays a large role in keeping our streets safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “Bicycle Safe Passage will make sure cyclists have accessible and clear bike lines for traveling around our city.”

The last Bicycle Safe Passage initiative that spanned the third week of June included a total of 1,757 tickets for drivers for blocking bike lanes and 810 summons for motorists who failed to yield to bicyclists and pedestrians.

“We hope to raise safety awareness for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists,” Police Commissioner Bratton said in a statement.

Advocates have welcomed the initiative, but would like to see enforcement related to bike safety given a more permanent role in policing. As of July 6, there have been 13 cyclist fatalities in the city, compared to 5 from through that point last year, according to data from Transportation Alternatives.

The mayor’s office points out that summonses issued for speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians and failure to stop at a stop sign have collectively increased by about 18% since Vision Zero launched in 2014.